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Where EAST meets the Northwest


(AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

The Asian Reporter, January 17, 2011

New Year Recipe

For Lunar New Year, take a break from takeout

By Alison Ladman

For The Associated Press

It doesn’t take too much effort to do better than takeout.

That was our theory when we set out to improve on this classic of Chinese takeout. And we were thrilled with the results. The slightly salty noodles act as a base for a saucy-spicy beef. The sauce uses hoisin and chili-garlic paste to really punch up the flavor without much effort.

Chili-garlic paste and hoisin sauce are both sold jarred in the Asian or international section of most grocers. The heat in this dish is moderate, so consider easing up on the chili-garlic paste in you prefer things on the mild side.

* * *

Spicy Hoisin Beef with Ginger-Soy Noodles

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

For the noodles:

Two 9-ounce packages fresh egg noodles (sold alongside produce and tofu)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin, 2-inch long strips

3 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

3 tablespoons soy sauce

For the beef:

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 pound flank steak, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips across the grain

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons chili-garlic paste

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Sesame seeds, to garnish

To prepare the noodles, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the sesame oil and heat at medium-high. Add the ginger, bell pepper, and scallions. Sauté for 1 minute, then add the noodles and soy sauce and toss well. Cover and set aside.

To make the beef, in a shallow bowl stir together the cornstarch and five-spice powder. Toss the steak strips into the mixture until thoroughly coated.

In a deep skillet over high, heat the oil. Sauté the steak strips until crispy, browned, and cooked through, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Drain off any excess oil. Stir in the hoisin, chili-garlic paste, and rice wine vinegar.

Serve the beef over the noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 674 calories (299 calories from fat, 44 percent of total calories); 34 g fat (7 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 64 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 7 g fiber; 1,904 mg sodium.